New Scam Alert: Change Your Calendar Settings to Avoid Fraud

Scam Alert:  Change Your Calendar Settings to Avoid Fraud

Cybercriminals are taking advantage of your calendar settings to automatically add invitiations. Fraudulent links or downloads are included in the invite, which is more likely to be accessed by the user since their guard may be down in calendar assuming they forgot they accepted the calendar invite.

Change your (Google, Outlook, etc) calendar settings to not automatically accept invitations.

The Better Business Bureau has the story.

IOFM: Annual APP2P 2019 Fall Conference and Expo | October 15-17

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The Institiute of Finance and Management has an annual Spring and Fall Accounts Payable and P2P Conference. This years annual Fall 2019 conference is changing from the previous years’ Las Vegas, NV venue to the Westin Kierland Resort in Scottsdate/Phoenix, AZ from October 15-17, 2019.

The conferences offer plenty of networking and training with workshops, breakout sessions, and the ability to walk away with a certification or two!

Learn more here:

AP Appreciation Week & AP Fraud Week - AP Now: October 7 - 11, 2019

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Debra R Richardson LLC is a proud supporter of AP Appreciation Week (October 7- 11, 2019) which will also be AP Fraud Prevention Week. Everything we do this week will be focused on helping you protect your organization against fraud. There is absolutely no charge to participate. 

This year, the focus is fraud prevention. Every professional concerned about protecting their organization against fraud is invited to participate. 

How to Participate: You can register to participate simply by sending an email to with the words "AP Week" in the subject line. 

Again, there is absolutely no charge for any of this. 

As in the past we'll have a free give-away each day as follows: 

• Monday - join us for Payables Anatomy where we'll provide you with a Fraud Prevention checklist 

• Tuesday - join us for Payables Investigators where we'll share an article loaded with tips on how you can prevent fraud. 

• Wednesday - play Payables Fire with us as we share a quiz you can use to test your Fraud Prevention knowledge 

• Thursday - join us live for This is Payables where everyone is welcome to attend our new webinar, How to Recognize New Frauds in Accounts Payable. If you can't make the live presentation, we'll share a link that will be good until the end of the month. 

• Friday - Play Game of Payables with us as we share a puzzle with a Fraud Prevention Twist 

Each morning, except Thursday, you will receive an email with the item shown above. 

How to Participate: You can register to participate simply by sending an email to with the words "AP Fraud Week" in the subject line. 

Again, there is absolutely no charge for any of this. All participants will also receive AP Now's twice-a-week news alert. 

North Carolina county falls for BEC scam, to the tune of $1,728,083

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The North Carolina county of Cabarrus, in the US, says that it’s managed to claw back only some of the $2,504,601 it paid to a scammer posing as a contractor working on building a new high school.

The crooks used social engineering – specifically, what’s known as a Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam – to pose as Branch and Associates, which is a general contractor that’s working on building a new school for the Cabarrus County Schools District.

The scam came to light after Branch and Associates sent a courtesy notice about a missed payment on 8 January. County staff confirmed that the electronic funds transfer (EFT) had, in fact, cleared the month before.

County officials next notified the bank to which the $2.5m was transferred, Bank of America. The bank managed to freeze $776,518.40 of the $2,504,601 that remained in traceable accounts.

Continue reading on Naked Security.

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Use authentication techniques, internal controls and best practices in Vendor Setup & Maintenance to protect your vendor master file from fraud.

Cabarrus County hires consultant to help train, protect future assets after scammed out of millions

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CONCORD – Social engineering and phishing scams are becoming more prevalent among companies and organizations.

The Cabarrus County Government disclosed Monday night that they are still missing more than $1.7 million after a social engineering scam diverted a $2.5 million vendor payment made by the county.

To protect their future assets, the county hired Oklahoma-based accounts payable consultant Debra Richardson to train staff and redesign its vendor processes and review vendor files.

She consults, trains, provides tips and gives directions to accounts payable teams on how to avoid sending out a fraudulent payment.

Read the rest of the Chicago Tribune article here

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Use authentication techniques, internal controls and best practices in Vendor Setup & Maintenance to protect your vendor master file from fraud.

How I Helped Cabarrus County After Their Social Engineering Scam. I Can Help You Too...

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Great mention of my services: "Cabarrus County government targeted in social engineering scam" - Business Today

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Use authentication techniques, internal controls and best practices in Vendor Setup & Maintenance to protect your vendor master file from fraud.

BEC Scammers Turn to Aging Reports in New Twist

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Don’t be tricked to giving your AP Aging Report - they are gold to scammers. Read the post from Info Security here.

Add authentication techniques, internal controls and best practices to reduce the potential for fraudulent payments.


Guest Appearance: Protecting your accounts payable function from cyberattack

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Click to Listen

Kip Boyle, CEO of Cyber Risk Opportunities, and Jake Bernstein, JD and CyberSecurity Practice Lead at Newman DuWors LLP, talk with guest Debra Richarson about how finance professionals should protect their company from common financial cyber fraud.

AP Recognition Week - IFO: October 7 - 11, 2019

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Celebrated the second week of October, AP Recognition Week is organized annually by The Institute of Financial Operations to honor the men and women in Accounts Payable and their dedication, drive, and accomplishments as financial operations professionals.

What are you doing with your team?

Find more information on the IFO Website here.

In the UK: AP Association Conference & EXPO - October 15, 2019

Every year, the Accounts Payable Association organises a Conference and Expo aimed at educating, training and enhancing the professional development of its participants.

This year’s main theme and focus for this conference is Leadership & a Career in AP and it will take place on 15 October 2019.

Want more information? Email - or learn more on the conference page:

Two Day Seminar: Account Payable Best Practices (New York - June 27-28, 2019)

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The accounts payable function is changing at a dizzying pace. Technology, new frauds and regulatory changes are all taking their toll. What worked yesterday may not work today. Given the current business environment, mounting regulatory pressures, and the increased visibility and importance of the accounts payable function, best practices are something with which every professional needs to be conversant. Unfortunately, keeping up to speed these days can be like herding cats. While some best practices remain steadfast, others simply no longer work and are being replaced by new practices just now appearing.

The talk will include a discussion of the newest best practice every organization should implement to ensure crooks don't get their hands on money or sensitive information. This is one session you might want to invite your colleagues in accounting, auditing and payroll to so they implement appropriate best practices and are not bamboozled by some of the newest frauds.

To learn more click here.

AP-NOW Webinar: Master Vendor File Validations Best Practices - August 7, 2019

When: August 7, 2019
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST (noon CST; 11:00 a.m. MST; 10:00 a.m. PST)
Where: Your office

 Information about The Master Vendor File Validations Best Practices webinar can be found here.

Until recently, one of the often-overlooked areas in accounts payable, was related to the master vendor file; specifically, the data that was entered without any verification whatsoever. However, the recent spate of new electronic payment frauds highlighted the very real danger of entering information without verifying it.

That’s why we’ve invited Debra Richardson to share her considerable expertise on how validations should be conducted and where to get the information you may need to complete these data validations.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Create best practice processes for validating critical vendor data

  • Identify the 11 vendor validations and know how to perform them

  • Explain the reasons for these validations to management

  • Craft practices to validate bank data collected

  • Recognize other considerations that need to be taken into account when setting up vendors

And more.

Bonus: Each attendee will receive their own Vendor Validation Reference sheet, which contains links to or information about 24 different items. While most won’t use all the links, everyone will benefit from at least nine of them.

Prerequisites: None
Program Level: Intermediate
Advance Preparation None
Format: Group Internet-Based (Webinar)
CPE Credits 1.0

About our Expert: Debra Richardson, Owner, Debra R Richardson, LLC, is an accounts payable speaker, consultant, and trainer with over 20 years of experience in AP, AR, general ledger, and financial reporting for Fortune 500 companies including Verizon, General Motors and Aramark.

For eight years, Debra has focused on Global Vendor Maintenance, and implemented a vendor self-registration portal for 140k+ global vendors across five ERPs. In her consultancy, she focuses on authentication techniques, internal controls and best practices to prevent fraud in the vendor master file.

Debra now focuses on helping accounts payable teams protect the vendor master file from fraud.

CRYSTALLUS  Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417. Web site:

RSVP Today: Empowering Your Human Firewall: the Art and Science of Secure Behavior

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Register here.

  • Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2019

  • Time: 02:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time

  • Duration: 1 hour

  • Speaker: Perry Carpenter


You know that "security awareness" is key to a comprehensive security strategy. But just because someone is aware doesn't mean they care. So how can you design programs that work with, rather than against, human nature? Here's the great news. Creating a security awareness strategy that not only educates but reinforces good behaviors can be achieved and we'll show you how.

In this webinar, Perry Carpenter, Chief Evangelist and Strategy Officer for KnowBe4 will unpack a number of key elements from his new book Transformational Security Awareness: What Neuroscientists, Storytellers, and Marketers can Teach Us About Driving Secure Behaviors. Drawn from his experience as an awareness practitioner, CISO mentor, researcher, and author, Perry will dive into ideas like how to use "Trojan Horses for the Mind," how to leverage social dynamics to drive behavior and shape culture, and will unveil some exciting new behavior models that will help you stop the bad guys in their tracks.

This presentation will take a deep (and practical) dive into:

  • How to understand and design for behavioral segments

  • How to successfully debug bad behaviors

  • How to influence motivation in three different ways

  • And why it is important to live your awareness program through the eyes of your audience

National Small Business Week May 5 - 11, 2019

Happy Small Business Week! With more than 30 million small business owners nationwide, neighborhoods and families depend on your success.

Click here for free employee training.

Click here for Small Buxiness Cybersecurity “Quick Wins”

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